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McIlroy spurred on by Europe record


World number one Rory McIlroy does not believe the Ryder Cup has been diminished by Europe's recent dominance

World number one Rory McIlroy does not believe the Ryder Cup has been diminished by Europe's recent dominance

World number one Rory McIlroy does not believe the Ryder Cup has been diminished by Europe's recent dominance

World number one Rory McIlroy insists the desire to redress the balance in Ryder Cup history means the event will not be diminished by Europe's recent dominance over the United States.

The 16 1/2 to 11 1/2 victory at Gleneagles was their eighth in 10 attempts, but with the overall record in America's favour the Northern Irishman knows there is still a long way to go.

Europe still trail 25-12 in terms of victories and captain Paul McGinley used a graphic depicting the divide as a motivational tool this week.

"We have an image in our team room and it shows how much red, white and blue is still on it," said the 25-year-old.

"If you look at the honours board of the Ryder Cup, America have still won a lot more than Europe and that's what we're going towards.

"Okay, we have won eight of the last 10 or seven of the last eight or whatever it is, but we are still very much behind the US in terms of Ryder Cups won.

"That is our goal and our main objective to catch them up and overtake them as quickly as we can.

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"I don't think this (their recent record) diminishes the competitive aspect of the Ryder Cup at all.

"Even though we've won the majority of the last 10, a lot of them have been very competitive. The last two Ryder Cups previous to this one Europe only won two of the sessions.

"At Celtic Manor we had to combine two sessions and have all players out on the course and we won that session 5 1/2 to 1/2, and then everyone saw what we did in the singles at Medinah.

"Those were very tight matches. I have no doubt that come Hazeltine in a couple years' time it will be a tight match again.

"The Ryder Cup will go on long past the years we are living. It's a great spectacle of sport between two very competitive teams: Europe have just been getting the better of the US the last few years, but that's not to mean that the US won't bounce back and win a few over the next five or six."

In terms of personal satisfaction McIlroy said the Ryder Cup victory provided the icing on the cake after adding two majors to his growing collection earlier in the year.

Coincidentally the last man to achieve such a feat was Tom Watson, the defeated United States captain, in 1977.

McIlroy said: "It's obviously a nice honour to have. It's the icing on the cake of what has been a very special summer for me, to win back-to-back majors, the Open Championship and then the PGA, and then to be a part of this fantastic team led by a wonderful captain.

"I couldn't have asked for the summer to end any better. I didn't know that it had not been done since 1977 but, you know, if it's not me in a couple years' time again, I hope it's one of these guys (his team-mates) that gets two majors and gets a Ryder Cup."

McIlroy revealed he approached his singles match against good friend Rickie Fowler with more focus than the final rounds of the Open and US PGA, which he won this year, and that resulted in a comfortable 5&4 victory which helped Europe to an overall

"I personally am just really proud of how I played," said the Northern Irishman.

"I was probably up for this match more than I was the final two rounds of the majors I won this year.

"It just meant so much to be to be a part of this team and to win."

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